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February 20, 2012

Chemical Safety Board Renews Call for Combustible Dust Hazard Standard

February 7 marked the fourth anniversary of a massive sugar dust explosion that killed 14 workers and injured 38 others at a sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga. In recognition of the event, the Chemical Safety board (CSB) called on OSHA to "proceed expeditiously" on its 2006 recommendation to produce a combustible dust standard for general industry.

Explosion Hazard safety sign at ComplianceSigns.combelieves such a standard is necessary to reduce or eliminate hazards from fires and explosions from a wide variety of combustible powders and dust. In a statement, CSB said that "Preventing dust explosions is a necessary investment: prevention saves lives and massive property losses."

The CSB recently reissued its call for an OSHA dust standard following investigation of flash fires that took five lives in an iron powder processing plant in Gallatin, Tenn. In addition, CSB wants to see an Unclassified Hazard category added to OSHA's version of the GHS to address hazards including combustible dust.

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